The LOX

The LOX

 Yonkers, New York, USA
BandHip HopR&B

Biography

The Yonkers, NY, rap trio the Lox signed with Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records in the mid-'90s, when Biggie Smalls was still a small-time hustler making good and bling hadn't yet been invented. On their debut, they dutifully tried their best to keep it real with songs such as the title track. But thug bravado aside, the group became best known for "If You Think I'm Jiggy" (word to Rod Stewart) and for rocking improbably shiny suits in the video for Puff's "It's All About the Benjamins." The streets rebelled, culminating in a "Let the Lox Go" T-shirt campaign that swept New York in 1999. By 2000, the Lox had signed with their fellow Yonkers residents the Ruff Ryders, who allowed the group the freedom to revisit where they came from, resulting in fiery street anthems such as "Wild Out" and the title track, and also punishingly igno-rant skits such as "Rape'N U Records," on We Are the Streets. The street, it appeared, was two-way.

By 2001, the three MCs were beginning to spread their solo wings and, to their credit, find their own distinct voices, something that wasn't always possible in the Lox groupthink. Jadakiss was first out of the gate with Kiss tha Game Goodbye, an eclectic affair (guests included Snoop Dogg, Nas, Eightball, and Fiend) that showed he had previously untapped dimensionality. "None of Y'All Betta" is one of the great Lox group efforts, as Jadakiss, Styles, and Sheek breathe true fire, but just as compelling is "Knock Yourself Out," a shimmery Neptunes production that marks Jada-kiss' first attempt at wooing the ladies. On Kiss of Death, Jadakiss again asserted himself as a master of fine lyrical detail, bringing the same clinical precision to crime sagas ("Air It Out") and pickup lines ("Hot Sauce to Go" featuring Pharrell) alike.

Of the Lox three, Styles was always the grimiest, the most unreconstructed among thugs. His solo debut, A Gangster and a Gentleman, certainly didn't disappoint the hardcore. Indeed, it's one of the great rap albums of the post-Biggie era, laserlike in focus and unrelenting in dark mood. Even his jokes are dark: "Don't you ask me what I'm robbing you for/'Cause you was talking big money, and I'm a little broke/And I'm a firm believer in equality, dog." Most of the time, though, smiling's not an option, as on "My Brother," which bemoans the loss of his young sibling, and on the nihilistic "My Niggas" and "Black Magic." Out of a morass of mean mugging, Styles became one of the great poets of the downtrodden, though one senses there's no joy in the task for him.

Discography

Main Releases
We Are The Streets 2000
If You Think I'm Jiggy [#1] 1998
Money, Power & Respect 1998

Compilations
It's Me Snitches 2007
Bad Boy Greatest Hits Volume 1 2005
Ruff Ryders, Vol. 4: The Redemption 2005
Ruff Ryders, Vol. 4: The Redemption 2005
Bad Boy's 10th... 2004
All About The Benjamins 2002
Training Day 2001
Fox Sports Presents: Game Time! 1999
The Source Presents Hip Hop Hits Vol. 3 1999
The Source Presents Hip Hop Hits Vol. 2 1998
Belly 1998
Woo 1998

Guest
The Streetsweeper, DJ Kayslay 2003
The Streetsweeper Vol. 1 (Clean Version), DJ Kayslay 2003
The Desert Storm Mixtape:.. Vol. 1, DJ Envy 2003
Eve-Olution, Eve 2002
Ryde Or Die Vol. 2, Ruff Ryders 2000
Opposite Of H2O, Drag-On 2000
Life Story, Black Rob 2000
...And Then There Was X, DMX 1999
Let There Be Eve... Ruff Ryder's 1st Lady, Eve 1999
Ryde Or Die Vol. 1, Ruff Ryders 1999
Flesh Of My Flesh... Blood Of My Blood, DMX 1998
Soundtrack To The Streets, Kid Capri 1998
Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life, Jay-Z 1998
Destined To Be, McGruff 1998
Nothin' Move But The Money, Mic Geronimo 1998
N.O.R.E., N.O.R.E. 1998
Levert-Sweat-Gill, LSG 1997
No Way Out, Diddy 1997
Share My World, Mary J. Blige 1997